Plans and Promises: Episode 19

Quispel paces in circles around the floor of the Gen Senate Rotunda, dodging Senators, staffers, tourists, and the occasional guard. He's ignored by all and sundry: there's nothing noteworthy about one more neurotic congressional aide running around in circles, even if Quispel does embody that stereotype more than most.

Quispel is waiting for Senator Pollovic's guests to arrive for their VIP tour, and while this is nothing unusual in itself, the guests are. He hopes that this doesn't turn into another media disaster for his boss, the way the last Sime visit to the Rotunda did.

Quispel was, alas, not consulted.

D'zoll arrives with Shorsh, well able to zlin Quispel's nervousness, but (as usual) uncertain what its cause is. Wild Gens: even a mind-healer can't do much with them.

D'zoll is sure Senator Pollovic meant well with his invitation to observe the highest-level New Washington Territory authorities in operation, but it's trying already, and it hasn't properly begun.

Shorsh is working quite hard to maintain a bubble of protection around D'zoll in the no doubt chaotic ambient.

D'zoll signals his ~~appreciation ~~ for Shorsh's efforts.

Quispel spots turbulence in the foot traffic, and rushes over to see if it is his guest.

Quispel: Welcome, welcome, Hajene....

D'zoll: Mr. Quispel? Hello.

Quispel checks his notebook to refresh his memory.

Quispel: Hajene Deezoll?

D'zoll: Good enough. And this is my colleague Sosu Shorsh.

D'zoll as usual out-T omits his surname, affiliation, and rank. They are probably in Quispel's notebook anyhow.

Quispel: Pleased to meet you.

Quispel is practically bouncing on his heels, as usual.

D'zoll: Mr. Quispel, I must urge you to calm yourself; otherwise, I might catch your agitation, and ...

D'zoll waves his retainered arm about.

D'zoll: ... our audience doesn't want to see an agitated Sime in its midst, retainered or not.

Shorsh winces at D'zoll's implied (to an out-T Gen) threat.

D'zoll knows Shorsh can compensate, but wants Quispel to tone it down if he possibly can.

Shorsh: Perhaps Mr. Quispel can lead us out of this crowd?

Quispel gives D'zoll a somewhat ~~ confused ~~ look: he's been agitated for so long that he's forgotten that there is any other way to exist. He does understand Shorsh's request, however, and gives a little jump of agreement.

D'zoll shuts his eyes briefly in lieu of gritting his teeth. Onward and downward.

Shorsh projects a little extra ~~ calm ~~ and ~~safety ~~ to his channel, albeit tinged with a little ~~ amusement ~~.

Quispel: Of course, of course. We can step into that empty conference room, if you want to compose yourself. Or there's the janitor's closet that was, which is now a lounge of sorts, too...

Quispel rises on his toes, preparing to dash off in whichever direction D'zoll chooses.

D'zoll sees it's hopeless.

D'zoll: That won't be necessary. Please carry on.

Quispel: What would you like to see first? There's a debate on the farm bill, three committee meetings, and a press conference going on this morning.

D'zoll thinks a bit.

D'zoll: Hmm. Perhaps the debate would be the most structured? I'd like to start with something fairly formal and then go on to informal procedures.

Quispel: Certainly, certainly. The Senator signed some gallery passes for you. We can get a good view from the second balcony.

Quispel holds out two pieces of engraved pasteboard.

Shorsh takes them and passes one to D'zoll.

Quispel: This way. They'll still be talking another half hour or so, before they break for lunch.

D'zoll: Will it be possible to hear everything from there?

D'zoll's tone is conversational, not concerned.

Quispel: Oh, certainly, if there isn't a loud snorer next to you. The acoustics are really quite good.

Quispel bounces off down the hall, ~~ marginally less agitated ~~ while he's in motion.

D'zoll: [sotto voce to Shorsh] He's not quite as overwhelming while he's actually walking as opposed to just climbing the walls.

Shorsh: Just lean on me, Hajene. ~~ amused ~~

Quispel is scurrying from one slightly clearer patch of floor to another, dodging other pedestrians, much like a rabbit negotiating an open field.

D'zoll: Oh, I will.

Quispel charges up a marble stairway with fine disregard for the uneven, much-worn marble treads.

Shorsh thinks that dashing after Quispel isn't the best way for a Sime to appear harmless, and hopes none of the crowd will panic, reading it as a hunt.

Quispel pauses at the top of the stairs, bouncing in place as he waits for D'zoll and Shorsh to catch up.

D'zoll walks up the stairs with dignity, since he has a lock on Quispel and can't lose him no matter how far ahead he gets.

D'zoll: Carry on, Mr. Quispel.

Quispel scurries on ahead, dodging around a gaggle of schoolchildren, and ends up at a guarded door.

Quispel: Two guests of Senator Pollovic to view the debate. They are still debating, aren't they, Frits?

Quispel waits only long enough to get a reassurance before scooting through the door, gesturing impatiently for D'zoll and Shorsh to follow.

D'zoll and Shorsh show their passes and follow.

Quispel is leading the way down a red-carpeted row of somewhat dusty chairs, all upholstered in red velvet, with red curtains setting off the dark paneling on the walls.

D'zoll hopes the dust doesn't set off any of his allergies; he covers his face and nose.

Shorsh fishes out a handkerchief and passes it to D'zoll.

Quispel fortunately picked the direction opposite that of the school group and the tourists.

Shorsh isn't troubled by the same allergies as D'zoll, except for walnut pollen.

Quispel stops at the end of the row, fortunately not continuing over the railing.

Quispel: Here. You can see everything, and hear most of it, too.

Shorsh: Thank you.

D'zoll: Thank you, Mr. Quispel. Will you be waiting with us, or shall we see you again at the end of the debate?

Quispel: They'll break for lunch in half an hour, or whenever the Speaker can get them to shut up. I'll be back for you then?

Shorsh gestures for D'zoll to precede him so he can sit between the channel and the aisle.

Shorsh: That will be good.

D'zoll does as he's told.

Quispel charges off with a wave, in hopes of crossing off a few items in his notebook before he has to return.

Senator Halliman has been pontificating on the benefits of the current farm bill for some time, and is starting to get a little hoarse. He's willing to make the sacrifice, however, because he gets a lot of campaign funding from the gentlemen farmers who would benefit most from the suggested price supports.

Senator Yumg signals the Speaker with increasing urgency, and eventually Halliman shuts up for long enough that he can be recognized.

Yumg: Will the honorable Senator Halliman yield for a question?

Halliman concedes the floor with a gracious gesture.

Yumg: As the Senator is well aware, my district has been suffering from the effects of a bad winter, and...

Yumg shows little sign of getting around to asking the proposed question, preferring to shower praise on his hard-working constituents while turning his best profile to the press box.

Shorsh notes that not much of substance is being said and tries to figure out the significance of the posturing.

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